Day 13 of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

By Aditi Sangal, Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton, Ben Morse, Matias Grez, Jack Bantock and Patrick Sung, CNN

Updated 9:18 PM ET, Thu February 17, 2022
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5:58 a.m. ET, February 17, 2022

The camera operators living on the edge — literally — at Beijing 2022

From CNN's Matias Grez

Jon Sallinen of Finland crashes into a cameraman filming on the lip of the halfpipe during the men's freeski halfpipe qualification on Feb. 17.
Jon Sallinen of Finland crashes into a cameraman filming on the lip of the halfpipe during the men's freeski halfpipe qualification on Feb. 17. (Tim Clayton/Corbis/Getty Images)

While most people are aware of the perils that come with being an athlete in some of the Winter Olympics' most daring sports, they may not know about the camera operators out there risking it all for the perfect shot.

The danger of being behind the lens was certainly on display during the men's freeski halfpipe qualifiers on Thursday, with the camera operators standing right on the edge of the pipe to get close-up shots of the skiers as they performed their tricks mid-air.

And one unfortunate cameraman was on the receiving end of a whack from one of the skis of Finnish competitor Jon Sallinen, who lost control as he began a jump halfway through his routine.

Fortunately, both Sallinen and the cameraman — as well as the video footage — were fine.

However, as a result of the crash, Sallinen ended up in last place.

Another angle of the incident.
Another angle of the incident. (Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images)

5:36 a.m. ET, February 17, 2022

Women’s individual free skating is underway; ROC's Kamila Valieva last to skate

From CNN's Gawon Bae

Kamila Valieva at a training session ahead of her performance on February 17.
Kamila Valieva at a training session ahead of her performance on February 17. (Valery Sharifulin/TASS/Getty Images)

The free skating program in the women’s singles competition got underway at 5 a.m. ET / 6 p.m. local time Thursday at the Beijing Games.

The event is being held at the Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing.

Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) figure skater Kamila Valieva will be the last to skate in the field of 25.

Valieva is expected to take to the ice at approx. 8:49 a.m. ET / 9:49 p.m. local time.

She will be performing to "Bolero" by French composer Maurice Ravel.

The 15-year-old finished first in the women’s individual short program Tuesday with a score of 82.16.

The best 25 skaters advanced from Tuesday, as Valieva finished within the top 24 spots of the short program.

According to the International Olympic Committee, there will be no flower ceremony and no medal ceremony for women’s single skating competition should Valieva finish in the medal positions.

5:22 a.m. ET, February 17, 2022

CNN's Beijing 2022 event guide: Alpine skiing

From CNN's Sana Noor Haq

Clement Noel of France skiing during the men's slalom run on February 16.
Clement Noel of France skiing during the men's slalom run on February 16. (Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Athletes frequently reach speeds of almost 95 miles per hour in one of the most physically exhausting sports in the Winter Olympics.

Athletes can log their fastest times in the downhill and super-G competitions, whereas the slalom and giant slalom events occur over two slower courses.

Modern downhill skiing can be traced back to the 1850s, when Sondre Norheim introduced skis with curved flanks and bindings with rigid, willow heel bands. 

Women's and men's alpine skiing events made their debut at the 1936 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Olympics in Bavaria, with more categories being added up until PyeongChang 2018, when the mixed team event became the newest competition in the alpine skiing roster. 

There will be 33 medals to win across 11 events at Beijing this year, including the men's and women's downhill, super-G, slalom and giant slalom, the alpine combine and the mixed team competition.

Find out more about all the events at the Beijing Winter Olympics here.

5:11 a.m. ET, February 17, 2022

Miho Takagi wins women's 1,000m speed skating gold in Olympic record time

From CNN's Matias Grez and Patrick Sung

Miho Takagi of Japan celebrates after winning gold during the women's 1,000m on Thursday.
Miho Takagi of Japan celebrates after winning gold during the women's 1,000m on Thursday. (Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Japanese speed skater Miho Takagi won the women's 1,000m in an Olympic record time to finally clinch her first gold of Beijing 2022.

Takagi, who won bronze in the 1,000m four years ago, finished in a time of 1:13.19, 0.64 seconds faster than silver medalist Jutta Leerdam of the Netherlands. The United States' Brittany Bowe won the bronze.

It was a near superhuman feat from Takagi, who had already won three silver medals at Beijing 2022 in the 500m, 1,500m and team pursuit.

However, that team pursuit silver will still likely be tinged with a feeling of regret.

The Japanese three-woman team were leading Canada in the final — and seemingly on course for gold — when Miho's sister, Nana, got one of her blades caught in the ice on the final corner, causing her to fall and crash into the barriers.

After the race, Takagi embodied the Olympic spirit and immediately went over to console her sister, who was in tears at the side of the track.

It's a testament to the Japanese skater's mental fortitude that she was able to come out and put in such an impressive performance after that earlier disappointment.

Takagi adds this gold to the one she earned in Pyeongchang in the team pursuit, taking her total Olympic medal tally to seven.

4:44 a.m. ET, February 17, 2022

Even Olympians need reminding that they are good

From CNN Sport staff

"I think I can, I think I can, I think I can."
"I think I can, I think I can, I think I can." (Brynn Anderson/AP)

Japanese curler Satsuki Fujisawa is the embodiment of 'good vibes' at Beijing 2022.

Fujisawa went viral earlier this week after a wholesome motivational message was spotted written on her hand in pen.

“I’m a good curler. I have confidence. Let’s have fun!” it read

The message clearly had its desired impact as Japan beat China 10-2 in Monday's round robin match.

4:00 a.m. ET, February 17, 2022

"It feels so great": Sweden's Sandra Näslund wins ski cross gold in controversial final

From CNN's Matias Grez

Sandra Näslund celebrates after winning the gold medal at the women's freestyle skiing ski cross big final on Tuesday.
Sandra Näslund celebrates after winning the gold medal at the women's freestyle skiing ski cross big final on Tuesday. (Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Reigning world champion Sandra Näslund clinched gold for Sweden in the women's ski cross final, leading the race from start to finish in a dominant performance.

It's Näslund's first Winter Olympics medal and makes up for the disappointment of finishing fourth four years ago at PyeongChang 2018.

“I did it!" she said after her win.

It feels so great."

"I was feeling pretty good today, and the skiing was great, but it was hard with the snow. I didn’t know what speed it would be each run, so that was pretty difficult."

After winning the World Championships last year, Näslund came into these Winter Games as one of the favorites — but in a sport as unpredictable as ski cross, nothing is a given.

“It’s always hard coming into one race when it counts the most," she said. "You've been doing well all season and here it is. I'm so happy I managed to ski well and keep the lead.”

The unpredictability of ski cross was once again on show in Wednesday's final.

Canada's Marielle Thompson took the silver medal, but behind her in the battle for bronze there was all sorts of controversy.

Fanny Smith of Switzerland initially crossed the line in third, but was demoted to fourth by the judges after being penalized for making contact.

Germany's Daniela Maier was bumped up a position and took the bronze medal instead.

3:57 a.m. ET, February 17, 2022

Ducking out to watch snowboarding

From CNN Sport staff

Best seat in the house.
Best seat in the house. (Francisco Seco/AP)

This little fella was sure to have caused a quack-cophony of noise from those who saw him riding high.

An unnamed volunteer fashioned a rubber duck with shades and a gold chain on the top of their helmet during the women's halfpipe finals on February 10.

Definitely an ICYMI that you needed to see.

3:05 a.m. ET, February 17, 2022

"This is redemption": Canada celebrates winning women's hockey gold with victory over Team USA

From CNN's Ben Morse

The Canadian women's hockey team celebrates after winning the gold-medal game on Thursday.
The Canadian women's hockey team celebrates after winning the gold-medal game on Thursday. (Jae C. Hong/AP)

After the heartbreak of four years ago, it was "redemption" for Canada at Beijing 2022.

Canada held on to secure a 3-2 victory in the women's ice hockey final as they saw a 3-0 lead evaporate under late pressure from their old rivals, Team USA.

Four years ago at the PyeongChang Games, the US beat Canada in a penalty shootout in the final to win Olympic gold.

And wrestling back the gold medal from their neighbors capped off a perfect run in China for Canada.

Canadian forward Sarah Fillier said she was "still shaking" long after the game finished, also calling it a "dream come true."

"It's just so good. It's a great feeling," Canadian forward Marie-Philip Poulin, who scored two goals in the final, said. "It was one hell of an effort. This is redemption."

Between them, the two teams have won every Olympic gold medal in this sport.

For Team USA, it was a campaign fraught with adversity, having lost star player Brianna Decker to injury in the first game.

US forward Kendall Coyne Schofield praised her team's hard work and graft despite the disappointment of falling just short.

"This is a special group that has come a long way. The last few years and the sacrifice that it took to get here," she said. "Thank you to everyone back home. They have been holding down the fort.

"My mom and dad have been watching my dog for six months. I haven't seen husband in six months.

"The sacrifice that every player and coach has shown just to get to this moment has been an important part of this journey."

2:56 a.m. ET, February 17, 2022

ICYMI: Ukrainian and Russian athletes hug after winning medals

From CNN's Ben Morse

Russian freestyle skier Ilia Burov hugs Ukraine's Oleksandr Abramenko as they celebrate medaling in the aerials final on Wednesday.
Russian freestyle skier Ilia Burov hugs Ukraine's Oleksandr Abramenko as they celebrate medaling in the aerials final on Wednesday. (Gregory Bull/AP)

Athletes from Ukraine and Russia embraced with a hug after winning medals in the men’s aerial skiing on Wednesday.

Oleksandr Abramenko of Ukraine won silver, his nation's first medal at Beijing 2022, finishing behind China's Qi Guangpu.

Abramenko, gold medalist in the event at Pyeongchang 2018, was embraced by Ilia Burov — who is competing under the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) banner — after the Russian skier won bronze.

At the medal ceremony, Abramenko and Qi both held their nations' flags aloft while Burov pointed to the ROC logo on his sleeve. The ROC team is a loophole that allows Russian athletes to compete in the Olympics while their country is banned from the Games because of its doping scandal.

The athletes' hug comes against the backdrop of rising tensions between the two countries.

Russian forces massed along Ukraine's borders have increased by approximately 7,000 troops in recent days, the United States alleged Wednesday, despite claims from Moscow it was pulling back.

Before the Winter Games, Ukraine's sports minister said its athletes should stay away from their Russian rivals in Beijing, and that Ukrainian athletes have been briefed on how to behave in case of "provocations."